Monday, July 14, 2008

The Serendipitous Convoy

I had a pretty rough night without much sleep. As expected, no one was waiting for me at the convoy meet-up point by the gas station. Karen was just pulling out onto Quivira as I passed 79th. Then, we just pedaled along at about a 17 MPH pace average. We hovered around 27 on the downhills, 20 on the flats, and pretty slow on the uphills. I'm definitely not a hill climber.

Passing through Rosedale, I saw a cyclist far up ahead, past the railroad tracks next to I-35. The cyclist turned into a parking lot and I lost sight of him. As we approached the tracks, the arms started to come down just as we passed through. There the cyclist was, airing up his rear tire.

Meet Tim. We've never seen him before. The bike's pretty nice, but the shifters and brakes need some love. Well, okay. Everything aside from the frame needs some love. But it's a decent frame.

Karen and I stopped to help (obviously, as you saw our bikes in the photo). His inner tube was patched with old tractor inner tube patches and they weren't holding air. The valve stem was hosed. Karen provided him her spare tube, and we got his tire aired back up. I noticed he was running his front tire at about 30 PSI as well. Karen and I schooled him in the art of 100-PSI goodness and sent him on his way with firm, skinny tires while we packed up our flat kits.

Meanwhile, yet another unrecognized guy passed the scene on bike.

Tim actually took off on the wrong side of the road at first, but saw the error of his ways after seeing both the guy who passed us, Karen and I all on the other side of the road. He fell in place behind us.

Karen and I caught up to and overtook the other guy without a lot of effort. Eventually, the both of them fell off the back. Both of us were in a bit more of a hurry than usual after having burned about 10 minutes helping Tim. We didn't maliciously "drop" any of them, but we moved on through after exchanging brief greetings with the other new guy.

Our Bike Commuter Karma banks are filling up a little today.


Jason said...

If you didn't leave so early! :) I'll have to get up early some Monday and ride that way. Its just really nice and cool going down through Mission hills under the trees, hard to change my route :)

MRMacrum said...

Even here in Rural Maine I am seeing some shifting in the transportation dynamic. The local busline (well I guess the two buses that run in Sanford could be called a busline) are now full all the time leaving some to wait for the next one.

I have sold moire racks and bags than at any time in my time at this location. I cannot keep the damn things in stock.

So yeah, the Karma is shifting. Hopefully most of us will consider it good karma once we get used to it.

Yokota Fritz said...

Props to you for helping the cyclist in need.

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